A few weeks ago, the company that I work for allowed us to take time off to do community service. Some employees gardened at community gardens; some cleaned up parks or spent time at the SPCA. My team took a morning to serve food at a place where homeless or just hungry people come to get a meal. We were split up after the morning prayer and while a few of us cut fruit for a salad, I was pulled to scoop out slider burgers on the line. I saw everyone that came through. There were a lot of men, people who were dressed like they’d be working downtown next to me; some single mothers with several children and addicts and people who did not talk much, only nodded when asked about the selection.
It was a great experience for me to really think about how to bless others every day and of course to reflect on all of the things that I have to be thankful for.
In the same week, there were two deaths in my hometown of some very well loved young people that hit hard. They were both under thirty.
The combination of the two things that happened made me seriously reflect on how much of our lives are what we choose and what has been chosen for us. Let me explain.
I am in a constant flurry of colliding religious and philosophical concepts; measuring my life by some invisible standards, trying to understand what is success and if I am close to it; and then, what does it all matter anyway? What makes me different from the single mother in line that I stood across from? I am certainly not better, in some ways I could be worse. Similarly, am I spending my time the right way? Should I be doing something else with my time on earth? Have I wasted any of it?
I used to handle death much differently, not understanding nor wanting to believe that it was true. I used to be mad at God and lose hope. Something changed when I got older and further in my walk. Once I had been through trials and come out a better person I started to trust and believe that He made better decisions than I would. Now, though I am confused and upset, I no longer spin my wheels. I just let go. I do the same with these life questions. I trust and believe.
I think life is a balance of what we choose and what is chosen for us, which is probably why I do so many things in a day. I never want to waste a moment. I’ll spend my life balancing my child, my spirituality, my dream, my family, my career, my invisible love life, my appreciation for music, my fun-loving alter ego because they are all a part of who I am: the person who wants to live life completely without any regrets. And, I suppose as long as I have desire and a dream in my heart, I have more to do.